Donna Davidson, age 78, of Mississauga, formerly of Stratford, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 4, 2017 at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Donna was born on April 9th, 1939 in Stratford, Ontario to Ann & Lloyd Forbes. She was the third of four children and is predeceased by her older brother and sister, Bill and Marlene, and her younger sister, Karen. She will be missed dearly by her husband, Dalt, sons Todd (Jennifer) and Craig (Nancy Ladwig), her grandsons, A.J. and Matthew, her sister-in-law, Pearl Forbes, and nieces and nephew, Michelle, Nancy and John, and their spouses and children.
Always sociable, optimistic and outgoing, she enjoyed interacting with and helping people. From her early days, as a teenager, participating in the “Canadian Girls in Training” at the St. John’s United Church and summer jobs at the Stratford Festival to her eventual graduation from the Special Commercial programme and career as a legal secretary, Donna was never idle, always engaged and fully embracing of life.
Donna’s first legal job was with the law firm of Monteith & Monteith in Stratford and from there it was quick leap to a position with Kist Canada (the soda company) as secretary to the president, to a position as secretary to the General Counsel of the Toronto Transit Commission, to her final position working with a sole practitioner in Port Credit, Mississauga when she retired in the early 2000’s.
But however much Donna loved working and helping people, family came first. Donna met her husband, Dalt, in 1958 through mutual friends. They were married in 1961 and Donna moved from Stratford to Toronto to join her new husband as he pursued his career at CN Rail. The best days of her life were looking after her husband and family as they moved from city to city to city as Dalt advanced his career.
Their oldest son, Todd, was born in 1965 in Scarborough and shortly thereafter the family of three moved to Montreal briefly before a return to Ontario and the Port Credit area and then their first house in Brampton in 1967. Their youngest son, Craig was born in 1969 on the day that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; but to Donna, Craig was the more special accomplishment.
The family relocated to Windsor in 1972, Sarnia in 1976, North Bay in 1978, London in 1979, and finally settled in Mississauga in 1983 when Dalt took a job with Via Rail. Throughout all of these moves, Donna was the linch pin of the family, ensuring that a loving home was created in each town and everyone transitioned smoothly. As with most railway families, Donna looked after the boys single-handedly as Dalt was often away with work.
Donna loved her daughter-in-law Jennifer and her grandsons, AJ and Matthew and enjoyed a very close relationship with them, especially when they were very young. Dalt and Donna spent a number of winter vacations with Todd and Jennifer and their boys in Florida. Over the years, she revelled at her grandsons’ accomplishments and spent many hours at school plays, award ceremonies, graduations, and band concerts, always in the front row cheering section.
And always Craig’s number one fan, she supported and encouraged him in his career and life, even when it included moving to further his career, whether to Boston, California, Germany, or finally, Seattle. Donna was always there for Craig and seldom a day went by, before she became ill, without them speaking on the telephone. Craig’s “foreign” adventures gave great opportunity for travel with his parents and Donna loved visiting and seeing so many different European countries and cities. And never one to forget her roots, for many years, Craig and Donna would enjoy plays at the Stratford Festival together. Donna was most pleased and delighted when Craig met his partner, Nancy. She and Dalt enjoyed travelling to visit them in Carlsbad, California, Nuremberg, Germany, and finally, Edmonds, Washington.
Donna enjoyed a good life. She developed a passion for bridge in the 60’s while living in Brampton and eventually attained Life Master distinction, playing multiple times per week and in many tournaments. Her passion for bridge led to many friendships in every town where Dalt and Donna lived. That her grandsons were both also able to excel at the game was no small victory for her.
A gardener, novel reader, avid cook, and active walker, Donna was particular and single-minded in everything she did. Everyone that Donna has met is agreed that she was truly kind. She was always gracious and graceful; caring and giving; optimistic and helpful; and outgoing and empathetic whether you were a friend or stranger. We will remember you forever as our loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and friend. We love you, Donna.
A private family service will be held on Friday December 8th, 2017 in Stratford, Ontario. For those who wish, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Society, in Donna’s memory through the W. G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411. www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
Private Family Service
Heart & Stroke Foundation
Your cheque can be mailed to:
W.G. Young Funeral Home
430 Huron Street
Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7
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